Center Community Members Share What Queer Persistence Looks Like to Them

Get a glimpse of what #QueerPersistence looks like for The Center’s community.

Resilience in Adversity

Throughout August, The Center has been celebrating #QueerPersistence. We’re honoring the birthdays of LGBTQ+ legends like Gladys Bentley and Marsha P. Johnson, voting in the New York State primary election, recognizing important dates such as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and preparing for summer’s ending.

All of this makes August a unique time for our community—one of simultaneous celebration, awareness-raising and mobilizing against continuous threats, reflection on our collective past, and gathering strength for our futures.

What does queer persistence mean to you?

Photo of Ashleigh in a car raising one finger
Photo of Ashleigh-Ann Sutherland (Ace, they/them)

“Queer persistence means placing value on uplifting queer voices, stories, and history. Making sure we are visible to other queer people and that we showcase our collective power.”  Luis Rubio (they/them), Information & Referral Specialist / Archives Reproduction & Licensing Coordinator at The Center

“Queer persistence means continuing to be myself unapologetically even when all the odds are not in the community’s favor…the clear erasure of the trans community by politicians/the “law,” the impending divide between gay men and the world because of the narrative around MPV, and the belief that the queer community is riddled with groomers are just a few of the issues that we deal with on the daily.” Ashleigh-Ann Sutherland (Ace, they/them), member of the RiseOut Action Team 

“As a future educator I seek to bring my queer persistence into the classroom by creating…an inclusive space to allow for dialogue on queerness in society. For me, giving the next generation the space to challenge heteronormativity and express queerness is ensuring that queerness persists.”Enrique Hernandez (he/they), Family Group Leader with The Center’s youth summer camp



Who do you want to give flowers to this month?

Photo of three flowers one that is red and orange the other two are white
Photo by © Mikiodo

“Honestly there are many people that I would want to give my flowers to. Lee Soulja Simmons for running Black Pride (in community) for the past 25 years, Michelle Cintron for being an awesome co-worker/friend, Lady Parada for pushing herself, Beyoncé (duh!), my baby girl Maya and husband Tom Stoelker, my best friend Bruce Morrow for handling his health and teaching me more patience, and his son Tenzin for going to college and being the smart rockstar they are.” Richard Morales (he/him), Cultural Programs Manager at The Center

“This month I want to give flowers to queer and trans artists, writers, historians, and archivists who do the important work of stewarding queer and trans history and uplifting the voices and experiences of those of us who have been unheard and unseen.” – Luis Rubio



How do you find ways to feel joy in defiance of difficult times and oppressive systems?

PHoto of Enrique in a white t-shirt and a backwards baseball cap.
Photo of Enrique Hernandez (he/they)

“I find joy through video games and spending time with my friends virtually. I have also been using this time to be the best version of myself so I am also enjoying going to therapy again and focusing on my mental health. It is very easy to lose yourself during these times and finding pockets of joy is what keeps me strong and helps to amplify my queer persistence.” – Ashleigh-Ann Sutherland (Ace) 

“I find joy in providing service for others and taking time to myself. I volunteer at local organizations, and commit myself to being a passionate and positive force. I try to bring light and joy into others’ day, because the world is so full of oppression and hate that love and unity are the only ways to keep us from being alone.” – Enrique Hernandez 

“I find joy in defiance through my (chosen) family, my community actions and work, and at times by disconnecting from technology.” – Richard Morales

Get Involved and Support

Get involved and support the programs facilitated by Ace, Enrique, Luis, and Richard. You can volunteer, sign up for updates, learn more about our programs and opportunities, and donate to support the entire community.

Get Involved and Support

  • Volunteer with the RiseOut advocacy program, of which Ace is a member
  • Sign up for our youth program, where Enrique facilitates the summer camp
  • Explore The LGBT Community Center National History Archive, where Luis works
  • Learn about Center arts & culture programming, which Richard oversees
  • Donate to support LGBTQ+ New Yorkers, and all of The Center’s community